Art lovers in the North-east will soon be able to enjoy one of the region’s premier galleries thanks to the BALTIC offering autism-friendly sessions.

With two initial dates in the contemporary gallery’s diary for autumn, the move marks an ongoing relationship between the North East Autism Society and the BALTIC – which will now make reasonable adjustments so exhibitions can be enjoyed by people with an autism spectrum condition, and their families.

The Playground Project exhibition is the first collection earmarked for an autism-friendly viewing with those hoping to make the most of the new scheme being offered access to the gallery before the main opening times.

Baltic Mill - The Playground Project

Adjustments made to create a more relaxed environment include blinds being open and the house lights turned off (weather permitting) so the space will be use natural light only, volume on films turned to low and a dark, quiet space will be available throughout the session.

While the sessions are free, booking is essential to allow a visual story to be sent out prior to the visit to help visitors with autism know what to expect in advance.

Staff, having now been trained by the North East Autism Society, will also be using symbol keychains and communication aids to further improve accessibility and enjoyment for people on the spectrum.

Initial sessions are planned for Tuesday, September 6 from 9:30-10:30am and Tuesday, October 25 from 9:30-10:30am. Tickets are limited and all children must be accompanied by an adult.

The gallery will be open an hour early only for those who have tickets for the sessions. Bookings and enquiries can be made by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0191 440 4924.